ONYX Insight wins grant to boost blade sensing technologies

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ONYX Insight recently secured a grant that will supercharge the adoption of blade sensing technologies for the wind industry in a bid to reduce downtime for wind operators across their turbine fleets. The Nottingham-based company has been awarded the funding by the U.K.’s Offshore Wind Growth Partnership (OWGP), part of the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult.

The funding will support a project over the next 18 months that will see ONYX Insight expand its predictive maintenance solutions from the drivetrain into the blades. The project will build on the success of ONYX’s wind-turbine drivetrain condition monitoring product, ecoCMS.

Funding will support ONYX Insight expanding its predictive maintenance solutions from the drivetrain to the blades. (Courtesy: ONYX Insight)

“The funding from OWGP provides us with a welcome grant to accelerate the development of advanced sensing for the blades,” said Bruce Hall, ONYX Insight CEO.

As a provider of condition monitoring services (CMS) to the wind industry, ONYX Insight uses advanced sensing technology and data analytics to support wind-farm operators in identifying potential faults and planning maintenance. The company collects data directly from more than 14,000 turbines across 30 countries. “Identifying when and where maintenance for wind blades is needed has been traditionally difficult for the industry, with operators often having to rely on drone technology, manual maintenance by technicians, or having to act once a fault occurs,” said Henry Tanner, ONYX Insight product manager.

“Blade failures can incur expensive blade repairs and replacements, result in secondary damage to the wind-turbine structure, not to mention huge safety implications for the industry. Predictive maintenance allows operators to tackle progressive blade faults sooner at a relatively low cost. The grant will enable us to continue to develop holistic approaches to CMS that provide ever more detailed and wide ranging data insights for our customers.”

Catastrophic blade failure in onshore settings can cost upwards of 300,000 pounds in materials, equipment, labor, and unscheduled downtime, and can be much higher in an offshore setting. However, if this same fault is predicted and remedied when it is less severe, repairs can be significantly less.

It is anticipated that the adoption of blade-monitoring technologies will increase over the coming years, delivering significant financial and time savings for wind operators, with
blade failure being one of the leading contributors to offshore and onshore asset downtime after gearbox faults. OWGP funding is provided to projects that focus on the commercialization of technologies, products, and services that will either support offshore wind decarbonization or improve the reliability of offshore wind developments.

More info onyxinsight.com